Preserving Autumn Leaves

We’ve been collecting lovely Autumn leaves over the last few weeks and noticed how they seem to curl up and become crunchy after just a few days, so we thought we’d try a few different methods to try to preserve them.

Autumn Leaves

How to preserve leaves


Fresh leaves

PVA glue

Sticky back plastic

Anything else you want to try


Select three leaves of a similar size.

Paint one with PVA glue on both sides and leave to dry.

Cover one with sticky back plastic on both sides and press down gently to seal.

Leave one leaf as it is – this is the control

Observe the changes over a few days.


We found our control leaf curled up and became crunchy after 3 days.

The PVA covered leaf stayed softer, but did curl up a little.

The sticky back plastic leaf remained flat.

Preserving Autumn leaves

Why do you think the leaves dry out?

Can you think of anything else we could try to preserve the leaves?

We used our new found knowledge to create some fun leaf people, hopefully preserving them in the sticky back plastic.

What do you think?

Leaf man



If you liked tis activity take a look at our huge collection of autumn and fall science ideas too!

If you’re in the UK and want to find some beautiful Autumn leaves take a look at leaf watch from The Forestry Commission which will help you find the most amazing colour displays in a forest near you or try some of these great Autumn activity ideas for children, we especially love the Autumn leaf crowns!

preserving leaves and making leaf people

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